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   ARE THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT FOR TODAY?



Copyright 1994 - 2011 Endtime Prophecy Net

Published On : May 5, 2001

Last Updated : January 3, 2009

God's Greatness, Murmuring In The Wilderness, Serpent Of
Brass, Elisha And The Shunammite Woman, Naaman The Syrian
And Elisha, Healing And Other Signs And Wonders, Immediate
Healing, Not For Today?, Twisting The Scriptures, Balancing
The Scriptures, The Perfection To Come, Gift Of Prophecy And
Tongues, Pentacost And The Outpouring Of The Spirit, Foreign
Languages, Gift Of Knowledge, The Dead And Blind, One Body
But Different Members, Seducing Spirits And Lying Wonders,
Choosing The Right Church, No Gifts Or A Lack Of Faith?




From the first page of the Old Testament, to the last page
of the New Testament, we find many miraculous events, signs
and wonders which testify of the awesome Might and Power of
the Spirit of El Shaddai, the Almighty God. Most of us are
familiar with some of the major stories and events of the
Old Testament such as the Creation, Noah's Flood, Sodom and
Gomorrah, the Plagues in Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea,
Mount Sinai, the miracles in the wilderness, the crossing of
the Jordan River, Joshua's victory at Jericho, Samson and
Deliah, Gideon's victory over the Midianties, David and
Goliath, Isaiah, King Hezekiah, the sundial of Ahaz and the
defeat of Sennacherib, and the visions of Daniel and
Ezekiel. The New Testament is just as impressive with the
miraculous conception of Jesus Christ, the miracle of the
water turned to wine, Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee,
the raising from the dead of Lazarus and others, the story
of the fishes and the loaves, the Resurrection of Christ,
the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentacost,
the Book of Revelation, etc. In short, as King David said
many times, the Holy Scriptures are a clear record of the
Omnipotency of our God:

"I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass
thine altar, O LORD: That I may publish with the voice of
thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works."
(Psalms 26:6-7)

"O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have
I declared thy wondrous works." (Psalms 71:17)

"Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his
wondrous works." (Psalms 105:2)

"I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of
thy wondrous works." (Psalms 145:5)

In Psalm one hundred and seven, we find David proclaiming
four times, 'Oh that men would praise the LORD for his
goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of
men!' In the Book of Revelation, we also find the great
multitude proclaiming in a thunderous voice before the
Throne of God:

"And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and
as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty
thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent
reigneth." (Revelation 19:6)

While I have mentioned some of the major and better known
miraculous events of the Bible, there are many more stories
sandwiched in between these of which some people are not
aware. It isn't that these stories are less important or
that they lack the greatness of the others; after all, they
all proceed from His Divine Hand; but rather it is due in
part to the fact that most cinemagraphic efforts concentrate
on the more popular themes of the Bible. One example of
these other miracles concerns the Lord's Power to heal His
children of their afflictions. The first example which comes
to my mind revolves around the story of Moses and the
Children of Israel in the wilderness. Despite the Lord's
miraculous deliverance from Egyptian bondage by many signs
and great wonders, once the Children of Israel entered the
hot desert expanse of the Sinai, some of them began to
complain and longed for a return to the land of their
captivity. Consider this first example:

"And all the congregation of the children of Israel
journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys,
according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in
Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.
Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us
water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide
ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? And the people
thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against
Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us
up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle
with thirst? And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What
shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone
me." (Exodus 17:1-4)

Later, after Joshua, Caleb and the other tribal Elders had
returned from spying on the inhabitants of the land of
Canaan for forty days; when the Children of Israel heard
their reports concerning the Anakim, the giants which dwelt
in the land, they again complained and regretted having ever
left Egpt:

"And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried;
and the people wept that night. And all the children of
Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the
whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had
died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this
wilderness! And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this
land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children
should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into
Egypt? And they said one to another, Let us make a captain,
and let us return into Egypt." (Numbers 14:1-4)

As I have explained before, it was because of their constant
murmuring and their lack of faith, that the Lord finally
grew weary of their complaining, and cursed them to wonder
in the wilderness for forty years, each day for a year,
until the older unbelieving generation had died off:

"And the LORD spake unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying, How
long shall I bear with this evil congregation, which murmur
against me? I have heard the murmurings of the children of
Israel, which they murmur against me. Say unto them, As
truly as I live, saith the LORD, as ye have spoken in mine
ears, so will I do to you: Your carcases shall fall in this
wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to
your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which
have murmured against me, Doubtless ye shall not come into
the land, concerning which I sware to make you dwell
therein, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son
of Nun. But your little ones, which ye said should be a
prey, them will I bring in, and they shall know the land
which ye have despised. But as for you, your carcases, they
shall fall in this wilderness. And your children shall
wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your
whoredoms, until your carcases be wasted in the wilderness.
After the number of the days in which ye searched the land,
even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your
iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of
promise. I the LORD have said, I will surely do it unto all
this evil congregation, that are gathered together against
me: in this wilderness they shall be consumed, and there
they shall die." (Numbers 14:26-35)

Only seven chapters later, we find the story of the serpent
of brass. Once again, the Children of Israel angered the
Lord by their lack of faith and their constant complaining.
They had gone so far astray in their walk with the Lord that
they even had the audacity to complain about the Manna which
the Lord provided for them during the full forty years that
they wandered in the wilderness. On this occasion, the Lord
chastised them by sending poisonous vipers into the camp so
that many died:

"And the people spake against God, and against Moses,
Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the
wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any
water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. And the LORD
sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the
people; and much people of Israel died."
(Numbers 21:5-6)

"And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent,
and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that
every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall
live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a
pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any
man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
(Numbers 21:8-9)

While the Lord used the brass serpent to heal the Children
of Israel, it wasn't before long that they began to idolize
it just like the many other molten images of the pagan gods
they had borrowed from the heathen nations around them.
Hundred of years later, good King Hezekiah grew so sick and
tired of their idol worship, that not only did he destroy
the many altars dedicated to the pagan gods, but he also
destroyed the serpent of brass made by Moses. We find the
story in the Second Book of the Kings:

"He removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut
down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that
Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel
did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan."
(2 Kings 18:4)

Another story of Divine Healing is found thirteen chapters
before the previous incident in the fifth chapter of the
Second Book of the Kings. It involves the Shunammite woman
and the Prophet Elisha. In fact, rather than just involving
a miracle of Divine Healing, this incident culminated in the
actual resurrection from the dead of the woman's son. In the
first part of the story, as a kindness to the woman for
treating him well, Elisha causes her to become pregnant,
even though she is barren, and her husband is old:

"And he said, What then is to be done for her? And Gehazi
answered, Verily she hath no child, and her husband is old.
And he said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood
in the door. And he said, About this season, according to
the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son. And she said,
Nay, my lord, thou man of God, do not lie unto thine
handmaid. And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that
season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time
of life." (2 Kings 4:14-17)

Later, after the child has grown, it appears that he either
suffers an accident while working in the fields, or else he
is possibly the victim of a brain tumor, or of a brain clot:

"And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he
went out to his father to the reapers. And he said unto his
father, My head, my head. And he said to a lad, Carry him to
his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to
his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died.
And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God,
and shut the door upon him, and went out."
(2 Kings 4:18-21)

In desperation, the woman seeks out Elisha who, after
sending ahead his servant Gehazi to check on the boy,
returns with the woman to her house, where he then raises
the boy back to life:

"And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child
was dead, and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore, and
shut the door upon them twain, and prayed unto the LORD. And
he went up, and lay upon the child, and put his mouth upon
his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon
his hands: and he stretched himself upon the child; and the
flesh of the child waxed warm. Then he returned, and walked
in the house to and fro; and went up, and stretched himself
upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, and the child
opened his eyes. And he called Gehazi, and said, Call this
Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto
him, he said, Take up thy son." (2 Kings 4:32-36)

It is interesting to note that some of the miracles which
were performed by the Prophet Elisha, were some of the very
same miracles performed by Jesus hundreds of years later,
except that the Lord performed them in larger numbers and to
a greater degree. Another example of an Old Testament story
of Divine Healing concerns Naaman, the captain of the host,
or army, of the Syrian king. This story occurs in the very
next chapter following the raising from the dead of the
Shunammite's son. The story opens by informing us that
despite his greatness in the Syrian army, Naaman suffers
from leprosy:

"Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Syria, was a
great man with his master, and honourable, because by him
the LORD had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a
mighty man in valour, but he was a leper." (2 Kings 5:1)

We are next told that a young Jewish girl, who was brought
as a captive to Syria, and who now serves as a slave to
Naaman and his wife, inform's Naaman's wife that the Prophet
Elisha is in Samaria, and that he could very easily heal
Naaman of his affliction:

"And the Syrians had gone out by companies, and had brought
away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and
she waited on Naaman's wife. And she said unto her mistress,
Would God my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria!
for he would recover him of his leprosy." (2 Kings 5:2-3)

With the blessing of the Syrian king, and a handsome reward
for Elisha the Prophet, Naaman sets out for Israel. Upon
hearing Naaman's request, the king of Israel suspects that
it is a trap in order to give the Syrian king a good reason
to once again wage war against Israel:

"And the king of Syria said, Go to, go, and I will send a
letter unto the king of Israel. And he departed, and took
with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of
gold, and ten changes of raiment. And he brought the letter
to the king of Israel, saying, Now when this letter is come
unto thee, behold, I have therewith sent Naaman my servant
to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy. And it
came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter,
that he rent his clothes, and said, Am I God, to kill and to
make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man
of his leprosy? wherefore consider, I pray you, and see how
he seeketh a quarrel against me." (2 Kings 5:5-7)

Eventually, Elisha the Prophet receives word of Naaman's
request and sends a messenger to the Syrian captain of war
with the following unusual instructions:

"And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, Go and wash
in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to
thee, and thou shalt be clean." (2 Kings 5:10)

Upon hearing Elisha's message, Naaman is both disappointed
and angry, as he had expected Elisha to come in person and
perform a great miracle for him. He is also upset because
Elisha tells him to wash in the Jordan River, instead of in
the cleaner rivers of Syria:

"But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said, Behold, I
thought, He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call
on the name of the LORD his God, and strike his hand over
the place, and recover the leper. Are not Abana and Pharpar,
rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel?
may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went
away in a rage." (2 Kings 5:11-12)

After receiving some wise counsel from his servants, Naaman
finally humbles himself and follows Elisha's instructions by
dipping himself seven times in the Jordan River. Upon coming
up out of the water the seventh time, he is completely
healed of his leprosy:

"And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said,
My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing,
wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when
he saith to thee, Wash, and be clean? Then went he down, and
dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the
saying of the man of God: and his flesh came again like unto
the flesh of a little child, and he was clean."
(2 Kings 5:13-14)

From these three examples, it is clear to see then that, in
addition to many other marvellous signs and wonders, the
Lord was actively healing people in the Old Testament via
His servants the Prophets. In the New Testament, we also
know that healing was a major part of the Lord's Earthly
ministry as well; and that He passed on this wonderful Gift,
and other Gifts of the Spirit, to His Disciples. Here are
some examples for your consideration:

"But when Jesus knew it, he withdrew himself from thence:
and great multitudes followed him, and he healed them all;"
(Matthew 12:15)

"And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went
virtue out of him, and healed them all." (Luke 6:19)

"These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying,
Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of
the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep
of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The
kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the
lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have
received, freely give." (Matthew 10:5-8)

"And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes
both of men and women.) Insomuch that they brought forth the
sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches,
that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might
overshadow some of them." (Acts 5:14-15)

"Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached
Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed
unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the
miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud
voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and
many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed."
(Acts 8:5-7)

At this point, I think it is important that I remind you
that we must all be on our guard against Satan's lies and
deceptions through his human agents; that is, through the
many false prophets, healers, psychics and messiahs who have
already begun to manifest themselves in our current time. I
discuss this topic more in-depth in such articles as 'Lying
Wonders Of The Endtime'. We all must really try, or test,
the spirits to see if they are truly of God:

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits
whether they are of God: because many false prophets are
gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)

While this may shock some of you, I don't doubt that Satan
can give his agents the power to heal others, just like the
servants of God are able to do. Furthermore, I don't doubt
that Satan can purposely afflict people with some disease or
malady, and then send one of his deceptive agents to perform
a bona fide healing; all for the purpose of capturing the
ignorant in his web of deceit through physical signs; so
that he can then lead them astray through false doctrine.
Remember, Satan's signs and wonders are going to be so
powerfully deceptive, that if it were possible, he would
deceive the very Elect! That means even me and you! You will
also recall that the Apostle Paul tells us that the Jewish
Antichrist will in fact show that he is 'God' by such
things. He will appear as an 'angel of light':

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets,
and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it
were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
(Matthew 24:24)

"Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not
come, except there come a falling away first, and that man
of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and
exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is
worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God,
shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers,
transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no
marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of
light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also
be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end
shall be according to their works."
(2 Corinthians 11:13-15)

A close reading of the Scriptures will quickly reveal that
the miracles of healing performed by Jesus and the Early
Disciples were immediate and on the spot. Likewise today,
they should be instantaneous, within the hour or even
sooner. The Lord does not need hours, or days, or weeks, or
months, or several years to heal someone. Nowhere in the
Bible, either in the Old Testament or in the New Testament,
do we find such 'prolonged' processes of healing where a
person is told to go home and wait for a few days or a week
for their healing to occur. Such an event would totally
negate the Power of God; because the unbelievers could then
attribute it to the medicine a certain person is taking, or
to the time factor, or to the body's natural healing
process, etc. However, when God truly works through His
children to heal others, it is on the spot deliverance from
the affliction. In this way, absolutely no one except the
most hard-hearted individuals can then deny the Power of
God. It happens so quickly, that there is no other plausible
reason, be it medical or otherwise, to explain it; and
therefore, God must be given the glory. Consider the
following examples from the New Testament, where the Lord
revealed His Power by immediately healing these people in
every single instance; and in some cases, they had been
lifelong afflictions from birth:

"And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I
will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was
cleansed." (Matthew 8:3).

"And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou
hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was
healed in the selfsame hour." (Matthew 8:13)

"So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes:
and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed
him." (Matthew 20:34)

"And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up;
and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto
them." (Mark 1:31)

"And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy
departed from him, and he was cleansed. (Mark 1:42).

"And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth
before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and
glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
(Mark 2:12)

"And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was
of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a
great astonishment." (Mark 5:42)

"And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his
tongue was loosed, and he spake plain." (Mark 7:35)

"And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made
thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and
followed Jesus in the way." (Mark 10:52)

"Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and
immediately her issue of blood stanched...And when the woman
saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling
down before him, she declared unto him before all the people
for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed
immediately." (Luke 8:44, 47)

"And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and
immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength."
(Acts 3:7)

"And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee
whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately."
(Acts 9:34)

"And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and
thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And
immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he
went about seeking some to lead him by the hand."
(Acts 13:11)

The previous examples are clear confirmations of Jesus' own
words when He said that the word and work of the true
Disciples and Prophets would be confirmed by great signs
which would follow, or accompany, them. This would be solid
proof that they had been sent by God, and that they were not
charlatans:

"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach
the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In
my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with
new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink
any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay
hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the
Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven,
and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and
preached every where, the Lord working with them, and
confirming the word with signs following. Amen."
(Mark 16:15-20)

Here are a few additional verses which confirm the many
signs and wonders which accompanied the First Disciples as
they carried out their ministry for the Lord:

"And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even
the devils are subject unto us through thy name. And he said
unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and
scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing
shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice
not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather
rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."
(Luke 10:17-20)

"And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs
were done by the apostles." (Acts 2:43)

"And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and
wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with
one accord in Solomon's porch." (Acts 5:12)

"And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and
miracles among the people." (Acts 6:8)

"Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized,
he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the
miracles and signs which were done." (Acts 8:13)

"And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of
the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no
more: and he went on his way rejoicing." (Acts 8:39)

"Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord,
which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted
signs and wonders to be done by their hands." (Acts 14:3)

"Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to
Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God
had wrought among the Gentiles by them." (Acts 15:12)

Sadly, some religionists today claim that we no longer need
all of these great signs and miraculous wonders. They argue
that these things were for times past when the Lord had to
encourage and strengthen His Early Church through these
physical manifestations. These people insist that these
miracles were done in order to establish God's Authority
within the fledging Church; and to win the First Generation
Disciples who would become the spiritual progenitors of the
born-again nation of the Children of God who would come
after them. According to those who support this false view,
once these things were accomplished, the Gifts of the Spirit
ceased. One popular verse they use, or misuse, in order to
try to add weight to their claim is the following:

"Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies,
they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease;
whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away."
(1 Corinthians 13:8)

Based on this one verse, some of the more conservative
churches, such as some of the Baptists, do not even allow
the Gifts of the Spirit to be manifested within their
congregations. I have witnessed this firsthand. The Gifts of
the Spirit are simply explained away or attributed to other
more mundnane things such as driving kids to Sunday school
class, or being the church organist. While these things
require skill, they are definitely not what Jesus or Paul or
anyone else was referring to when speaking of the Gifts and
the Manifestations of the Spirit. In my view, even using the
above verse by itself is a Scriptural injustice. It is, as
Peter called it, a wresting, or a twisting or a perverting,
of the Scriptures:

"As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these
things; in which are some things hard to be understood,
which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do
also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction."
(2 Peter 3:16)

Notice that Peter tells us that the reason that these people
try to change the true meaning of the Scriptures, is because
they are spiritually unlearned or unstable. In other words,
they don't have a leg to stand on; they are wobbly. Their
doctrines are spiritually off-balance because they are not
firmly founded upon the whole Word of God; and they know it.
They don't carefully compare Scripture with Scripture as I
have exhorted my readers to do on many occasions such as in
the article entitled 'Rightly Dividing The Word Of Truth'.
This is precisely what we are commanded to do in the Bible:

"Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to
understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and
drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept,
precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a
little, and there a little:" (Isaiah 28:9-10)

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that
needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of
truth." (2 Timothy 2:15)

This idea of dissecting the Scriptures is a very common
practice within churches and organizations which yield
themselves to the spirit of exclusivity which I thoroughly
discuss in 'Elijah: Where Are The True Prophets Of God?'. As
I also point out in the article 'A Biblical Cafeteria Or The
Whole Course?', some of these people pick and choose what
they want to believe. If it is something which they can't
accept or don't want to believe, then those bothersome
verses are simply ignored, are not included in the church's
or the organization's instructional materials, or else they
are explained in a way which is totally contrary to the
Truth. If one were to continue reading what Paul says right
after the previous verse from Corinthians, this is what he
would find:

"For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that
which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall
be done away." (1 Corinthians 13:9-10)

Notice when Paul says that some of these Gifts of the Spirit
will cease; 'when that which is perfect is come'. In my
mind, the only thing, or better said, the only One who is
perfect is Jesus Christ. Has Jesus returned yet? Not that I
am aware of; so 'that which is perfect' has not come yet
either; which implies that these Gifts of the Spirit are
still in operation. Not only that, but as I have pointed out
before, when the Lord returns, we will also be perfected, or
made whole and complete; because we will at last receive our
full Salvation in the form of our new Glorified Bodies. This
idea seems to be supported by the very next verses, as well
as by the fifteenth chapter of this same Epistle, part of
which I quote below. In other words, Paul is telling us that
some of these Gifts are only temporary, and that they will
cease when 'that which is perfect is come'. He then proceeds
only two chapters later to tell us what he means by this
phrase. It is one continuous thought from chapter twelve,
where he first begins discussing the Gifts of the Spirit, to
chapter fifteen where he explains the perfection which is to
come:

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a
child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put
away childish things. For now we see through a glass,
darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then
shall I know even as also I am known."
(1 Corinthians 13:11-12):

"Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but
we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an
eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the
dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be
changed." (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)

When Jesus returns, 'that which is perfect' will have indeed
come; and not only will we see Him face to face, and see Him
as He is, but we ourselves will be transformed to be just
like Him. Praise God!:

"Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet
appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall
appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he
is." (1 John 3:2)

So again, I believe that what Paul is really saying is that
once Jesus Christ returns to this Earth, once we see Him
face to face, once we are changed and glorified, there will
no longer be the need for some of these Gifts. Notice also
the specific Gifts which Paul says will cease. First he
mentions the Gift of Prophecy and the Gift of Tongues. In my
view, some people today do not fully understand the purpose
for these two Gifts, particularly the Gift of Tongues. In
the fourteenth chapter, Paul offers a partial explanation of
what these Gifts are for:

"Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but
rather that ye may prophesy. For he that speaketh in an
unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no
man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh
mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to
edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh
in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that
prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake
with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is
he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues,
except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying...
I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet
in the church I had rather speak five words with my
understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also,
than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue."
(1 Corinthians 14:1-5, 18-19)

The gist of Paul's discourse is that the Gifts of Prophecy
and Tongues are to serve as a means of communication. They
are a Divine Link between Heaven and Earth. We use them to
communicate with the Lord, and to communicate the Lord's
messages to the brethren for the edification of the whole
Body. However, a closer examination of the previous verses,
as well as a few others, reveals that there may actually be
two different types of Tongues which, while being closely
related, are not identical. The Gift of Tongues mentioned
above appears to be referring to a personal communication
between our spirit and the Lord. It is for our own personal
edification and inspiration. This may also be what Paul is
referring to in the following verses:

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we
know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit
itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which
cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth
what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh
intercession for the saints according to the will of God."
(Romans 8:26-27)

"For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but
my understanding is unfruitful." (1 Corinthians 14:14)

These verses seem to be describing God's Holy Spirit within
us making direct intercession to the Father for us by means
of indecipherable Tongues, or groanings, which our carnal
minds do not understand. At the same time, there is another
form of Tongues, which in my opinion, is probably the
primary form of speaking in Tongues being as it edifies more
people, and is more likely to bring people to Christ if they
don't already know Him. It is for this reason that Paul
specifically tells us that this second type of Tongues is
primarily for the unbelievers; because by witnessing this
Gift, they are convinced of the Power of God, and may then
come to accept the Lord:

"Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe,
but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not
for them that believe not, but for them which believe."
(1 Corinthians 14:22)

Exactly what is this second kind of Tongues of which Paul is
speaking? The following verses provide us with an
interesting clue:

"Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray
that he may interpret...If any man speak in an unknown
tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that
by course; and let one interpret."
(1 Corinthians 14:13, 27)

The key word here is 'interpret'. As the following verses
will clearly confirm without a shadow of a doubt, the second
and most important kind of Unknown Tongues is simply foreign
languages. If you are a Christian who is able to speak a
foreign language, then you are capable of reaching twice as
many people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as a person who
does not speak any foreign languages. Now imagine if you
will, a group of born-again Spirit-filled Christians in
Jerusalem two thousand years ago who suddenly begin speaking
in foreign languages which they have never studied or spoken
before. The fact that some of the Apostles were unlearned
men is clarified for us by the following verse from Luke's
account in Acts:

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and
perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they
marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had
been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13)

I discuss this topic more fully in such articles as 'The
Only Credentials You Need!'. So then, imagine if you will
that this sudden speaking in foreign languages is done in
the presence of thousands of visitors to Jerusalem. How
would you describe such a scene? Luke was faced with the
same situation, and here is what he had to say:

"And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to
speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out
of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised
abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded,
because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to
another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were
born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers
in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus,
and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts
of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and
proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in
our tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all
amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What
meaneth this?" (Acts 2:4-12)

Of course, Satan's emissaries who were present, were not
about to accept this obvious manifestation of the Spirit and
Power of Almighty God, El Shaddai; so like some modern-day
religionists who also try to dismiss the Gifts of the Spirit
with their lukewarm explanations, the Jews weakly accused
the Disciples of being drunk. Even their trick of bribing
the Roman guards at Jesus' tomb was a little more ingenious
than this, even though it also failed to smother the young
flames of Christianity:

"Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine."
(Acts 2:13)

Were the Disciples really drunk? The answer is 'no' and
'yes'. While they weren't drunk on wine made from grapes,
the Apostles and Disciples were most definitely drunk on the
wine of the Spirit of God! As King David and the Prophet
Joel wrote, these vessels of the Lord, the First Disciples,
were anointed by God's oil of the Spirit, and filled to
overflowing:

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine
enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth
over." (Psalms 23:5)

"And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out
my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters
shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young
men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon
the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I
will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood,
and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into
darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the
terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass,
that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be
delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be
deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom
the LORD shall call." (Joel 2:28-32)

Whether or not the above verses are really a prophecy of the
Endtime as some Christians believe is a matter of personal
speculation. Regardless, upon hearing the false accusation
of the jealous Jewish leaders, Peter immediately launched
into the following discourse in order to explain to those
present what was really happening. He quoted from these very
same prophecies of Joel and said that they were fulfilled
that very day:

"But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his
voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that
dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to
my words: For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing
it is but the third hour of the day. But this is that which
was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in
the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon
all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall
dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I
will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall
prophesy: And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs
in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into
blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the
name of the Lord shall be saved." (Acts 2:14-21)

Were the Disciples just babbling in loud confusion foaming
at their mouths and rolling on the floor like we see in some
so-called Spirit-filled churches today? Definitely not! We
are clearly told that all of these visitors to Jerusalem
'heard them speak in his own language'. Then we see them ask
'And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we
were born?' Exactly why did God allow this to happen? In
order to do exactly as Paul had said; to be a sign to the
unbelievers of the wonderful Power of God! These visitors
confirmed this themselves when they said 'we do hear them
speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God'. You see.
Speaking in Unknown Tongues, that is, in a foreign language
which you have never personally endeavored to learn, is
primarily to serve as a witness to the unbelievers. This
incident at Jerusalem makes this very clear.

In a way, there is a bit of irony involved in the day of
Pentacost. The reason I say this is because in the Old
Testament, the Lord used the confusion of tongues to stop
Nimrod and his followers from building the city and tower of
Babel. As I explain in the series 'John Lennon's Imagine And
Secular Humanism', under the inspiration of Satan, Babel was
one of man's earliest attempts to achieve greatness without
God. Turning the situation completely around, here in the
Book of Acts we see the Lord using the ability to speak many
foreign languages, as a means to bring people together so
that they can all hear and understand the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. Clearly, God is in charge of the show, and He can do
things however it pleases Him!

Luke then very specifically tells us what nationalities were
present to witness this marvellous manifestation of God's
Holy Spirit: Parthians, Medes, Elamites, Mesopotamians,
Jews, Cappadocians, Egyptians, Cyreneans, Romans Cretians,
Arabians, and people from Pontus, Asia, Phrygia, and
Pamphylia. If you translate all of these names to their
modern-day counterparts, you will quickly discover that the
Lord did this mighty miracle in order to send out a message
of Salvation to people native to an area extending from
Italy, to Greece, to Turkey, to Syria, to Iraq, to Iran, and
all the way down to the countries of North Africa and the
islands of the Mediterranean Sea! This was one massive
witnessing campaign! It was like a worldwide telecast of
God's Spirit! In other words, representatives of the entire
Mediterranean area were reached with the Gospel of Jesus
Christ in one single day! This manifestation of the Gift of
Tongues, that is, unlearned foreign languages, served as a
tool to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God. Isn't this what
Jesus told His Disciples that they were to do?:

"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained
you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your
fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the
Father in my name, he may give it you." (John 15:16)

After Peter and the rest of the Disciples had refuted the
accusation of being drunk, and after they had delivered a
powerful message to this huge crowd, do you know what
happened next? We find the answer towards the very end of
this same chapter of Acts:

"Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and
the same day there were added unto them about three thousand
souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles'
doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in
prayers." (Acts 2:41-42)

Thus we see that this powerful manifestation of God's Spirit
bore immediate fruit. In case you are wondering what they
did with so many new converts in one day, I invite you to
read my article 'Where Are The First Century Churches?'. It
is filled with many Scriptures explaining the pattern of the
Early Church; the very same pattern which churches today are
supposed to be following. I wouldn't be surprised if some of
these converts in Jerusalem eventually returned to their
homelands in order to share with their relatives and friends
all of the wonderful things they had witnessed in Jerusalem.
Perhaps the Lord allowed them to remain in Jerusalem for a
time so they could obtain a firm foundation in the Word of
God at the feet of the Apostles; however, in God's perfect
time, quite possibly at the time of the great persecution
which began with the martyrdom of Stephen in Acts chapter
seven, many of them returned to their native lands carrying
the Seed of Faith with them. This was clearly the Widsom of
God at work. Consider the following verses:

"And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time
there was a great persecution against the church which was
at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout
the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles. And
devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great
lamentation over him." (Acts 8:1-2)

"Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution
that arose about Stephen travelled as far as Phenice, and
Cyprus, and Antioch, preaching the word to none but unto the
Jews only. And some of them were men of Cyprus and Cyrene,
which, when they were come to Antioch, spake unto the
Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus. And the hand of the Lord
was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto
the Lord." (Acts 11:19-21)

Thus we see the far-reaching effects of speaking in foreign
tongues in Jerusalem on the day of Pentacost. In the
previous verses from his first Epistle to the Corinthians,
Paul also said that the Gift of Knowledge will cease. Why is
that? Again, the answer seems rather simple to me; because
we will be in the presence of the Lord; and He is the very
Living Word of God. We will no longer have to be guessing
about all of these deep Endtime prophecies and other issues
which continue to puzzle us. I don't doubt that the Lord
will be happy to clear up our understanding regarding these
things. Won't that be really wonderful? As I have said
before, I am sure we each have our little list of questions
tucked away in the back of our minds. In fact, the Apostle
John informs us that once Jesus returns, and we are changed
and/or resurrected, the Mystery of God will be completed. In
other words, everything will be made plain to us, just as
Jesus made the Old Testament Scriptures clear to His First
Disciples following His Resurrection:

"And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded
unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning
himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they
went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But
they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is
toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to
tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with
them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to
them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he
vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another,
Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by
the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?"
(Luke 24:27-32)

"But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he
shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished,
as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."
(Revelation 10:7)

Notice however, that in the thirteenth chapter of his first
Epistle to the Corinthians, Paul does not mention any
cessation of the other Gifts of the Spirit. One specific
Gift he does not mention is the Gift of Healing. Again, the
reason for this can be found in the Scriptures. Even though
Jesus will have returned for His children, and even though
we will be in our new Spiritual Bodies, in the future there
are still going to be people living on the New Earth who are
going to require healing, at least spiritual healing, just
as they do now. Consider the Apostle John's words in the
Book of Revelation:

"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the
river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner
of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves
of the tree were for the healing of the nations."
(Revelation 22:2)

The full significance of the previous verse may be much more
profound than you realize. I will be sharing my personal
thoughts on the possible symbolism of the Tree Of Life in a
separate article. In regards to this current article
however, the primary point I wish to make is that the Gift
of Healing is one which will not cease, as will some of the
others. Considering the volume of verses I have provided on
this issue, I can only come to the conclusion that those who
support the idea of the Gifts of the Spirit having ceased
long ago, are clearly in the wrong. In my view, those who
teach this false doctrine are denying the Power of the
Spirit of God; and thus must not only be spiritually dead
themselves, but spiritually blinded to the Truth of the
Scriptures as well. Jesus had similar thoughts towards the
staunch religionists of His day who denied God's Spirit
working through Him:

"...Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the
kingdom of God." (Luke 9:60b)

"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if
the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."
(Matthew 15:14)

Similar to the rebellious unbelieving Jews of two thousand
years ago, those who are spiritually dead today don't even
realize it. They may still be going through all of the
proper motions outwardly, but inwardly they are spiritually
cold and dead. They are like a corpse which is still going
through its final convulsions. Unfortunately, those who do
not have any spiritual discernment, mistake these nervous
twitches for real spiritual life, when it really isn't.
Jesus just as much said the very same thing:

"And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These
things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the
seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that
thou livest, and art dead." (Revelation 3:1)

"Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are
like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful
outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all
uncleanness." (Matthew 23:27)

While I believe that the Gifts of the Spirit are still in
operation today, allow me add a degree of balance to my
previous statements by saying that not all Christians seem
to manifest them; and of those that do, they are not
necessarily the same with each person. The Apostle Paul
emphasized this point in the twelfth chapter of his first
Epistle to the Corinthians when he wrote:

"Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
And there are differences of administrations, but the same
Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the
same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of
the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to
one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another
the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith
by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the
same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another
prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another
divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of
tongues: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame
Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will...And God
hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily
prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts
of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues."
(1 Corinthians 12:4-11, 28)

Thus we see that while all of these Gifts originate with one
and the selfsame Spirit, it is the Lord who determines which
Gifts He bestows upon each individual. I would speculate
that the Lord probably gives those Gifts which would be most
beneficial to a person's particular calling and ministry; or
as Paul says, 'to every man to profit withal'. One thing
which Paul makes absolutely clear, is that whenever these
Gifts are in operation within a certain Body of Believers,
they will result in good fruit which will edify and uplift
all. He sums up how these Gifts should manifest themselves
in the following verses:

"Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray
that he may interpret...If any man speak in an unknown
tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that
by course; and let one interpret. But if there be no
interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him
speak to himself, and to God. Let the prophets speak two or
three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to
another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For
ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all
may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are
subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of
confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints...
Let all things be done decently and in order."
(1 Corinthians 14:13, 27-33, 40)

This leads us to another important topic concerning the
various Gifts of the Spirit which I touched on earlier. One
dangerous pitfall into which some churches have fallen, such
as some of the Roman Catholic charismatics, as well as the
Pentecostals, is that of being taken over, or possessed, by
a false spirit which attempts to imitate God's true Holy
Spirit. Don't ever forget that Satan is a copycat; he is an
imitator; and he is a usurper who unrightfully tries to take
that which is not his. This deceptive spirit tries to
convince its deluded victims that it is the true Light of
God; and that its manifestations are of a Divine Nature,
when in fact they are not. Remember again the Apostle Paul's
admonition:

"And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an
angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:14)

As we saw previously, Satan, via the Son of Perdition, and
the many other false prophets of the Endtime, may soon
reveal his full power by using all kinds of seemingly
'celestial signs' and 'miraculous wonders', including
miracles of healing, visions, false prophecies, etc., in
order to trick the unwary. Maybe some people are being
'slain' by the spirit in their churches, but it certainly
isn't the Holy Spirit with which I am familiar! It is a
deceptive demonic spirit of which we are warned to beware!
It is what Paul also referred to as a 'seducing spirit'. If
you have any doubts whatsoever about these people who foam
at the mouth and fall all over the place, and writhe in what
they call 'spiritual ecstasy', then I seriously advise you
to consider the following verses:

"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times
some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing
spirits, and doctrines of devils;" (1 Timothy 4:1)

"And wheresoever he taketh him, he teareth him: and he
foameth, and gnasheth with his teeth, and pineth away: and I
spake to thy disciples that they should cast him out; and
they could not." (Mark 9:18)

"And, lo, a spirit taketh him, and he suddenly crieth out;
and it teareth him that he foameth again, and bruising him
hardly departeth from him." (Luke 9:39)

Of course, Satan doesn't always manifest himself in such
graphic forms. Sometimes he can be very subtle such as
through his 'healings'. In addition to this, on the opposite
end from the 'holy rollers', we find a number of Roman
Catholic 'prophets' and 'visionaries' who have made all
kinds of false predictions which have never come to pass;
and they continue making them to this very day. One in
particular whom I am very familiar with, because I have read
many of his prophecies, is John Leary. Most of these false
prophets are rather harmless and usually end up hanging
themselves sooner or later; particularly when they make a
specific time prophecy which doesn't come to pass. Again,
you will find this topic discussed in 'Lying Wonders Of The
Endtime', 'Elijah: Where Are The True Prophets Of God?',
'The Office Of A Prophet', etc. As I stated in those
articles, the Lord, through Moses, gave us some very clear
advice as to how to react to such false prophets:

"But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my
name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall
speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall
die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the
word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh
in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come
to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken,
but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt
not be afraid of him." (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

Another set of verses I have shared a number of times before
is the following where Jesus provides us with the ultimate
test for determining the status of a prophet:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's
clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall
know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns,
or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth
good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A
good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that
bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into
the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
(Matthew 7:15-20)

The above verses can not only be applied to so-called
prophets of our modern day, but they can also be applied to
any situation you encounter in any church or organization
you happen to join or visit. Exactly what kind of a spirit
reigns over the place? Is it a spirit of peace, or is it a
spirit of confusion? When you first walk in the doors on
Saturday, Sunday or Wednesday night, what is your first
impression? Is there a lot of confusion of tongues and many
people 'prophesying' at once? If so, I seriously doubt that
this is the Lord's Spirit. Remember again the previous
admonitions I shared from the Apostle Paul. The spirit of
the prophet is subject to the prophet. God is not the author
of confusion. Let all things be done decently and in order.
Just because there is a lot of music, and people singing and
jumping up and down, and folks 'prophesying' and 'speaking
in tongues', and foaming at the mouth, does not mean that
God's Spirit is present; in fact, it isn't. Getting all
excited, and hot and sweaty is a work of the flesh, and not
of God's Spirit.

Let me again remind you of a story from the First Book of
the Kings. When King Jehoshaphat of Judah, and King Ahab of
Israel, decided to war against the king of Syria, the true
Prophet of God, Micaiah, was outnumbered by four hundred
false prophets who also had the gift of prophecy from their
father the devil! In the end, the Prophet of God was
vindicated, while Ahab was destroyed because he listened to
the advice of his false prophets. There is also the example
in the First Book of Kings of the lone true Prophet Elijah
who slew the four hundred and fifty false prophets of Baal
who were powerless before El Shaddai, the Almighty God of
Israel. The point is, don't be deceived by numbers when you
are looking for true manifestations of God's Spirit. The
following verse from the Book of Proverbs holds a lot of
truth if you can accept it:

"It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than
with a brawling woman in a wide house." (Proverbs 21:9)

In addition to looking for the actual fruits of the Gifts of
the Spirit in a particular church or organization, such as
changed lives, new people coming to the Lord, unity of the
Spirit, etc., another primary requisite to consider is
exactly how much time is devoted to the actual Word of God.
I am not referring to Sunday school catechisms or other
printed materials which are full of the dry words and
spiritless wisdom of the founder(s) of that particular
church or organization, such as their so-called 'church
fathers', 'apostles', 'saints' or their self-appointed
'prophets', but rather to actual verses of Scripture
straight from the Bible; and in my particular case, that
means the tried and proven 1611 Authorized King James Bible.
If you spend an hour in fellowship, and only five or ten
minutes is devoted to the actual Word of God; and if this
happens week after week, I would say that you are in the
wrong place. How many of you can eat a ten minute meal and
survive all week without eating another meal? Doesn't that
sound ridiculous? Well, that is exactly what you are doing
if you stay in such churches or organizations.

If all you are getting is a lot of loud music, singing,
dancing, 'prophesying' and 'tongues', but no real soul food,
again, you are definitely in the wrong place. You can go to
a rock concert and feel the same way. You will come out of
there just as hyped up in the flesh, but your spirit will be
starving to death. You are better off staying home and
reading your Bible on your own and asking the Lord to
enlighten you by His Spirit; and He will if you ask Him to
in sincerity:

"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you:" (Matthew 7:7)

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto
your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give
the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:13)

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be
given him." (James 1:5)

Even if you are in a church or organization which quotes the
Word of God, unless they are actually living it, what good
is it doing anyone? There are a lot of great preachers out
there who get paid big money to preach up a storm; but
unless they have the Anointing of God's Spirit, it won't
move a soul. It won't bring a single person to Christ. It
won't convict a single person to change their ways. Those
people will come back the very next week to hear the same
spiritless platitudes all over again. This is precisely what
happened with the four hundred and fifty false prophets of
Baal. They were yelling and cutting themselves with knives,
but still ole Baal didn't wake up and send fire down from
the sky to devour their offering. The Prophet Elijah found
the whole situation to be quite hilarious:

"And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and
said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or
he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he
sleepeth, and must be awaked. And they cried aloud, and cut
themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till
the blood gushed out upon them. And it came to pass, when
midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the
offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither
voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded."
(1 Kings 18:27-29)

As we know, after this display of phoney spirituality by the
false prophets of Baal, the true God of Israel harkened to
Elijah and sent down fire to totally devour his water-soaked
offering to the Lord; once again showing the true Might and
Power of El Shaddai; and vindicating His true Prophet:

"And it came to pass at the time of the offering of the
evening sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and
said, LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be
known this day that thou art God in Israel, and that I am
thy servant, and that I have done all these things at thy
word. Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know
that thou art the LORD God, and that thou hast turned their
heart back again. Then the fire of the LORD fell, and
consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones,
and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the
trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their
faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he
is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of
Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and
Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them
there." (1 Kings 18:36-40)

The point of all of this is to show that if a church,
organization or individual has the true Spirit of God, the
Gifts of the Spirit will be manifested in their lives in
some way; and it will bear positive fruit for the glory of
God. Before concluding this article, let's consider the
facts one more time: Throughout the Old Testament we find
many clear examples of great signs and wonders, including
different manifestations of the Spirit. Likewise, in the New
Testament, Jesus' ministry was filled with manifestations of
the Spirit. The ministries of His Apostles and the First
Disciples which followed after them were also filled with
the manifestations of the Gifts of the Spirit. Finally,
towards the end of the First Century, when the final Book of
Revelation was given, John was still manifesting the Gifts
of the Spirit, particularly the Gift of Prophecy. In other
words, clear up to the very end of the Holy Bible, we
encounter different manifestations of the Gifts of the
Spirit. Nowhere is there any sign of them having ever
ceased.

So the question then is this: If the Gifts of the Spirit
didn't end by the last verse on the last page of the last
chapter of the last book of the Bible, then where did they
end? What solid Scriptural foundation are these people using
to make such a claim? At what point in the history of the
true Christian Church did God say, 'Okay, it's all over. I
am withdrawing the Gifts of the Spirit now. You don't need
them anymore.'? Could it be that this is just an invention
of the compromising Roman Catholic Church and her spiritless
daughters? If we are not currently witnessing many true
miracles and great signs and wonders within the so-called
Christian world, then I suspect that it is not because the
Lord has withdrawn His Spirit, but rather because those who
claim to be His Prophets and Emissaries do not really have
His Spirit, or else they do not possess the faith that they
should have in order to manifest the Gifts of the Spirit.
Remember again what Jesus said in Matthew chapter
twenty-four:

"...Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find
faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8b)

It seems really odd to me that from one end of the Bible to
the other, we find all of these examples of the Lord
manifesting His great Power through His chosen vessels; yet
today, in what many view as the Endtime, when we would
expect the greatest manifestations of His Spirit to be
present in order to combat the greatest manifestations of
evil, there is basically nothing. Could it be then that
those who claim that the Gifts of the Spirit are no longer
in operation today are simply trying to cover their own
tracks, and their own inability to take the Lord at His Word
and have the faith to expect miracles? This is a very
sobering thought as it points to every single one of us who
claims to be a Christian. It is definitely an idea worth
pondering. The only other possibility that I can see is that
in these Last Days, the Lord has indeed chosen to withdraw
His Spirit except for a very small portion, because He is
sick and tired of a rebellious unbelieving world. In other
words, maybe we don't deserve any signs, just as Jesus told
the unbelieving Jews of His day:

"But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous
generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be
given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:"
(Matthew 12:39)

Perhaps this is in preparation for the arrival of the Beast
and the False Prophet. I discuss this topic in such articles
as 'Who Is Hindering The Antichrist?', 'Age Of Deception,
Age Of Delusion', etc. Personally, I don't believe that the
Lord is going to pour out His Spirit if He knows that it is
just going to be wasted, or else used inappropriately. As we
have already seen, when the Lord does permit such wonderful
manifestations of the Spirit, it is usually for the specific
purpose of bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God. Perhaps
because of our pride and our self-righteous attitudes, the
Lord knows that He can no longer trust most men with such
precious Gifts, because they would abuse them, and allow
them to inflate their pride beyond measure. This is clearly
brought out in 'Elijah: Where Are The True Prophets Of
God?'. None of us can deny that possessing such a Gift as
healing would be truly wonderful. Just imagine if we could
not only heal people's spirits by bringing them to Jesus
Christ, but we could also heal their sick and broken bodies
as well. Sadly, for most of us, myself included, it would
inflate our pride like a hot-air balloon!

With these remarks, I am going to bring this article to a
close. I believe I have given all of us some serious things
to think and pray about. I trust that this article has been
instructive, and a blessing in your life.

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